AV Linux 5.02 Review. My First Impressions From A Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Diehard

Summary: I review AV Linux 5.02, for sound professionals: default sound settings are disappointing.


  • User interface,  LXDE, though not gnome, unity or KDE is very intuitive and AV Linux did a thoughtful job with the menus set up nicely.
  • A very pleasant array of sound software, complete with all kinds of niceties to play with your sound hardware and software downloads.
  • MP3s play immediatedly through media player with jack running
  • http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html AV Linux web site very good first impression
  • qjackctl ran immediately error-free
  • The live dvd runs first time with no errors.


  • A silly stream of linux geek stuff spews on the screen when both the dvd starts and when you finally install the system.  Why are distros still showing these (programmer debug) messages?
  • Installing reformats the destination drive‘s partition, and doesn’t even ask you to confirm that this is what you wanted.
  • Installing very shockingly trashes my boot partition, and doesn’t allow me access to my ubuntu installation.  Of course I had to reinstall grub because this thing bizarrely installed what I assume is grub 1 when booting, it doesn’t show any other installations.
  • Installation asks you too many linux geek questions that really require you to have done an installation of linux before.  Why is this?  Isn’t this supposed to be for audio pros, and not geeks?  If you say it’s a bug in the software which created the install, that’s not sufficient.  We are looking at the whole package here, so I see this as a problem with AV Linux.
  • The installation asks you where to install your swap partition, and only allows you to pick sda, and then it scares the heck out of you by telling you that it is currently formatting the disk.  So you fear that all your partitions have just been trashed.
  • Very first thing after I started jack already issued a warning:  fluidsynth:   I always have its messages open, and it showed a warning:  fluidsynth: warning: Jack sample rate mismatch, expect tuning issues (synth.sample-rate=44100, jackd=48000)
  • Rosegarden when then started connecting to general midi did not create sounds.  Isn’t the idea of a pre-packaged distro to ensure everything “just works” ?
  • The command line doesn’t seem to recognize ANY  of the very first things I typed.  This is a Debian distro, and presumably this is bash, so why not?:
  •     1  gparted
    2  yum
    3  man fdisk
    4  fdisk -l sda
    5  parted
    6  pmidi
    7  apt-cache search pmidi
  • Iceweasel‘s second starting up produced by itself a jump to this page: http://www.downloadhelper.net/update.php?from=4.9.5&to=4.9.7  That’s pretty shocking, considering the distro states it doesn’t nag you to upgrade anything.
  • vkeybd doesn’t run from command line, and doesn’t seem to be in the menu
  • horribly, there is an icon for every single window of Rosegarden at the bottom of the screen, cluttering up my ability to switch between programs.

All in all, I’m going back to Ubuntu 11.10 even with Unity.  (I’m force-feeding myself Unity just to prove to myself that it’s not an unreasonable interface).  I’m going back for this reason:  I installed AV Linux for basically one reason: so that I would have to stop tweaking and re-starting jackd and qsynth just to get midi to make sound through Rosegarden and Muse.  That’s the reason.  AV Linux failed to accomplish this goal.


About SunKing2

Former web developer, guitar player, started Piano 2012 -yes still doing it! Recovery, sobriety, mental health advocate.
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